Monday, November 28, 2011

Rest In Peace Mr. Russell

No one ever wishes to be the bearer of bad news, so I write this post with a heavy heart indeed. Legendary filmmaker Ken Russell has passed into the great beyond leaving an enormous gap in the world of bizarre and transgressive cinema. Probably most well known by mainstream audiences for Altered States, a film that delves into the world of psychedelic research and features many of his trademark flourishes, his canon includes so many more wonderfully strange and aggressively unsettling films. From the crazed drug fueled imagery of Tommy, based on the Who's album, to the gloriously blasphemous scenes of torture and debauchery featured in his high water mark film (my opinion) The Devil's, Mr. Russell never failed to press someone's buttons with his work. If you have never experienced any of his films for your self, please do. It will surely expand your cinematic horizons and maybe even blow your mind. R.I.P. Mr. Russell, you will be missed.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Episode 20 - Magnum and Manson

Episode 20 focuses on some great prison exploitation films from opposite sides of the earth. 1973's Terminal Island and 1982's Turkey Shoot. They both posit a near future situation where socially undesirable types are shipped off to remote locations to protect the masses from either a murderous blood lust or a revolutionary mindset. In both there is violence, sexism and fantastic action set-pieces. These are not your typical exploitative fare though. Terminal Island is given an interesting spin by director Stephanie Rothman and Turkey Shoot is another in director Brian Trenchard-Smith's long career of outstanding films.
These both are well worth watching, especially if you love totally bizarre additions of things like werewolves, mini-bulldozers and evil villains who are afraid of the dark!